Aussie Yarns - Dave Goddard

Stories about Australia

Month: October 2015

Audio Books and New Novel

Travelling through rural towns promoting the Aussie Yarns concept, we came to the realisation that we were neglecting a possible avenue to reach people: the Audio Book category. The more we travelled, the more the idea of developing these grew. At first, I was thinking only of people with limited vision, but speaking people at presentations, a range of different categories entered the thinking. Categories such as farmers ploughing or harvesting, driving to Perth, long-haul truckdrivers, people driving on mine sites, people flying, people with afflictions that make reading difficult … The list has continued to grow.

So, a couple of weeks ago, we approached two potential sources to produce Audio Books. Having a son who is in the “voice-over” game, we asked him to investigate and he has come back with an idea and a contact in Melbourne. And, as much as it is incestuous, we think he has just the voice that we’re looking for. People in Western Australia would know him from Bowra and O’Dea and Freeview ads, not to mention Jeep (Are we there yet) and the voice of Brain on the Bond Advertisements on the web. At the same time, we approached an entity in Western Australia whom we are meeting on Thursday to begin discussions on production. Exactly where it will take us isn’t yet known, but it’s exciting to consider.

And I am now in the process of preparing a third novel for publication. As I indicated a couple of weeks ago, I have gone back to the idea of publishing “Turn on a Light”, set in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia in the mid-1970s. I have already held discussions for the cover concept, have had the product shaped into the most effective size (A5 – the same as for The WILUNA Solution) and it will shortly undergo a final proofing. The final proofing, by the way, is one thing I try not to   participate in, mainly because years of experience have taught me that I read what I think I wrote, rather that what is actually on the page.

The Government Office complex on Hannan Street - the Wardens Court, Court of Justice, Mines Department and Post and Telegraph Office - all built between 1896-1899.

The Government Office complex on Hannan Street – the Wardens Court, Court of Justice, Mines Department and Post and Telegraph Office – all built between 1896-1899.

If you’d like to see the synopsis of “Turn on a Light” you can find it under novels, along with  a few more enticing photos. The one to the right plays a crucial role in the story.

So, it’s an exciting time all round, together with more rural visits either planned or being planned.

Getting There

I am just at the point of preparing my third novel for publication. What I have is a 346 page document, undergoing its final edit and I am about to contact Ross McLennan of Book Covers Australia, who does my covers for me and then Jarrod Egan at Fineline Print to produce the document in book form. After much deliberation, I have decided to go with the story entitled “Turn on a Light”, set in and round Kalgoorlie in 1974. The reason is that I still can’t come to grips with “Life on a Ferris Wheel” in terms of whether it is fictional or what people call “creative non-fiction”. If it is the second one, then I need to consider carefully if some of the characters could be misinterpreted in relation to the story it tells. If so, I have some rewriting to do.

But I love “Turn on a Light” anyway. It took me back to teaching experiences, because the main character is sent to a remote community to teach. But it is also a story of political intrigue in towns, and how the main character runs foul of people of extended backgrounds in Kalgoorlie. It is fictional, but I am sure it is a story that many who live in rural towns would comprehend. And like “Hiding Place” and “The WILUNA Solution”, there is intrigue and romance in this story and plenty of both.

The central focus of the story is the death of eleven children over four years in the community, the last two after the main character turns up to teach. He is immediately introduced to life in the community which includes Catholic brothers and sisters and an Aboriginal language group who had left Kalgoorlie four years before. I think I have said that I first heard aspects of this story when I was working in Alice Springs, and I have relocated the era and site of the story, while retaining the history of gold as crucial to the tale.

I’ve decided with this novel to not only have a hard copy and an ebook version, but to move into an audio-book version.

More updates shortly.

Cultivator Conference, Mildura

I have been invited to present in Mildura on Friday of this week at a conference convened by Cultivator Inc. The subject I am presenting on is Walk Together, the Collaborative Systemic Change Pty Ltd design for working between different cultures. I am indebted to Alex and Emma for their interest in the concept of Walk Together and the subsequent invitation.

Go to to see more about the concept.

The theme of all Cultivator Conferences to date has been on the concept of creativity and its benefit for rural and remote communities in terms of creating futures. It seems that the ideas being propounded in Walk Together are seen as creative.  I think from a non-Aboriginal perspective, they can be seen as very creative. Most of my Aboriginal friends and colleagues, however, would see them as natural elements in their ways of knowing and doing things. As I always say at conferences where I present, the origins of Walk Together lie in the experiences I have been privileged to have had with Aboriginal/Indigenous people.


Pictures of Wiluna

We have put some of the photos of The WILUNA Solution up for your enjoyment. For those we’ve met on our various tours, they may enable you to better study the eras and architecture of each. For those who attended yesterday as part of U3A, this gives you a chance to see the slides which we couldn’t show during the presentation. That to one side, our thanks for a great afternoon. We really enjoyed ourselves.

The first three photos are the original hospital on the town (built in 1934) and is still in use as the shire offices. The next is pretty obvious (1934) and the third is the original Club Hotel, around 1931.

1932Club Hotel  1934 Wiluna Bus Service 1934 Wiluna Hospital 1934 Wiluna Style of Shops 1934 Wiluna Town 1 2007 Wiluna Wotton St




As to the rest of the photos, note that several shots of buildings were taken in Gwalia but show the styles of buildings of the 1930s. As the main character in the novel asks at one point, “How did people survive in donga-type accommodation, with temperatures in the high forties in summer and below freezing at nights in winter?”

I find the photos of Wiluna townsite, whether around 2010 or in the 1930s, so provocative. Two that genuinely fascinate us are those two shots taken from the same point in the main street nearly eighty years apart: from a pulsating hub to a gentle and reflective memory. The same applies to the photos of the Club Hotel, as a single storey building at the top to what it is today below.

If you’ve never been there, it’s worth the trip, not just for Wiluna and its history, but for the history of the area.  There’s that of the Martu people and their wit, wisdom and compassion as well as their survival and preservation of their country for more than sixty thousand years. There’s the whitefella gold mining history and the cattle industry round Wiluna. There’s the ability to stand on part of the the Canning Stock Route and reflect on a magnificent feat of engineering and perseverance, a disaster in terms of interracial relationships, and a monument to the consequences of poorly thought-out government policy. And don’t forget the Leonora and Goldfields Loop roads, which portray the history of both cultures, particularly in Menzies.

Style of Housing 1 Club Hotel 2007 Style of Housing 4 Donga  Enjoy and more later.

Canning Stock Route 2

Southern Tour

We’ve just had a great week in the far south from Albany to Denmark, then Walpole, Bridgetown and Donnybrook. Unfortunately Manjimup wasn’t available in that week but we will stay in touch with Frances and return to take in Northcliffe and Pemberton.

But thanks are due to people in Libraries and CRCs for their efforts and support: Julia and Soraya at Albany Library, Robyn at Denmark Library, Linda and Tash at Walpole Library and CRC, Nel and Kathy at Bridgetown Library and Louise at Donnybrook Library. From the perspective of meeting new people, having a great time, telling stories and selling books, all was great. We are working out next month, as I write, for another trip.20150929_150032 20150929_150049 20150929_152736 Visiting Author Dave Goddard and Karen Goddard